Today we’re going to talk about some myths and truths about going into labor. Things can be pretty miserable towards the end of pregnancy, and we will talk about some ways to get comfortable as well.
As a note, this podcast isn’t AS G-rated as many of my other ones. We’re talking about getting babies out…. so, yeah. [wink, wink]
This week’s guest is Mandy Irby — The Birth Nurse on Youtube. She is also the Creator of Birth Nurse Academy, where she shares valuable info on labor and birthing boldly! You can also find her on Instagram.
She is also a trauma-sensitive labor and delivery nurse and educator supporting bolder births everywhere. She’s been a labor nurse for over eleven years and holds both advanced certifications in OB nursing. Mandy’s also a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Authorized Peanut Ball Trainer, Director of Education at [M]otherboard Birth, and recently she completed her Spinning Babies Parent Educator training and trains parents in it in Roanoke, Virginia.
Thank you to this week’s Sponsor, The Online Prenatal Class for Couples. I have to say that the internet is FULL of weird lies — ESPECIALLY ways (many that aren’t all that safe) to go into labor. It is nice to have a source you can trust!
In this episode we talk about:
- Why you may NOT want an elective induction
- Ways to go into labor
- Ways that DON’T put you in labor (unless it’s coincidental)
- Will sex put you into labor?
- Is curb-walking magical?
- Ways to get comfy at the end of pregnancy
Other items that might interest you:
- Secrets of False Labor
- I recommend this labor ball
- Mandy has 125 labor positions you can download
- Best pregnancy podcasts
- To do before coming to the hospital
- When to call labor and delivery
- Birth Classes Online
Check out my other pregnancy podcasts:
Check out all my podcasts:
Hilary Erickson 0:00
Hey guys, welcome back to the pulling Curls podcast. Today we’re talking about the ways to go into labor. That’s right, put a fork in you. You’re done. I have a special guest on today’s episode and she is sharing one of her favorite ways to go into labor. We’re also going to talk about some of the ways to get comfy in those final weeks because I know it is so uncomfortable. So until that baby comes out, let’s get comfy. And also I wanted to make a special note you guys this episode might not be as G rated as some of them, you know, because we’re talking about ways to get a baby out. So if you have little ears that might be influenced by some of the things that we’re saying. You might want to save this episode until they’re not around. Let’s untangle it.
Welcome to the pulling curls podcast where we untangle everything from pregnancy parenting, home routines, even some family travel because heavens knows our lives are tangled. I’m your host Hilary Erickson.
And now a word from our lawyer. Hilary from pulling Curls ls is a nurse but she is not your nurse. Please take the advice of your personal health care provider or Any advice listen to on this podcast if you have any questions please contact them as they know about you and your personalized situation as a note no one should try to go into labor prior to 37 weeks of pregnancy
Okay guys ways to go into labor is one of my most popular posts and I know why I was 12 days over with my last baby and so I totally understand where you’re coming from. I wish there was a natural way to go into labor and today I have a special guest on to talk about it. We actually met in a group of labor nurse influencers who knew there was such a thing, but I do have a few friends who do this kind of thing alongside of me and so we meet every once in a while to kind of talk about how we can influence labor in general. She is actually the nurse and educator behind birth nurse she has a course on taking charge of your own birth. She also does pregnancy coaching if you have anxiety or trauma Actually, I have learned so much from this gal. I just really liked her and this is Mandy Irby, the birth nurse
this episode of The pulling girls podcast is sponsored by the online prenatal class. for couples. It simplifies understanding labor so you can have a more relaxed pregnancy and birth taught by a highly experienced labor and delivery nurse and can be done wherever you are whenever you want. No more arranging busy schedules to fit in a prenatal class. Save 15% with the coupon code untangled You can find out more at pulling curls dot com in the menu under courses or in this episode show notes.
Hey Mandy, I’m so excited to have you here.
Mandy Irby 2:28
Hey, Hilary. I’m excited to be here!
Hilary Erickson 2:30
Man two labor nurses off on the same day. It’s crazy.
Mandy Irby 2:35
I know we’re taking over the world.
Hilary Erickson 2:36
Yeah, watch it.
Mandy Irby 2:38
All right. So what do you think the benefits are of not choosing an elective induction?
Oh, it sounds like an elective induction is more control. Right? You get to pick like when you go in who your doctor is going to be. You put it on the calendar. I just want to be done having been pregnant before. I find that my patients feel a little out of control with an elective induction. And I think it’s just because there are so many decisions to be made. And it’s never how you think it’s going to go. You think that you are going to go in and be that person that’s six centimeters by surprise. And that’s not usually what happens.
Hilary Erickson 3:24
Yeah, it’s not
Mandy Irby 3:25
No, and I felt the same way. I was like, I’m not going to be, I’m going to be the person that just has an easy labor. But a medical and elective induction takes longer than we usually think and just requires more interventions. And it’s not that interventions are bad, but sometimes it’s annoying to be hooked up to monitors and be poked and prodded and asked questions, and it’s a much more medicalized way of having a baby. And it feels a little less in control, then it sounds
Yeah, I was just thinking we should define what an elective induction is because Sure, I should have done that first. But an elective induction is when you decide that you would like to be induced basically. Now, an elective induction doesn’t mean that if you have high blood pressure, that’s not on the left of induction, if you have high fluid, if you have diabetes, if you’re 12 days overdue, that’s not an elective induction. That’s a medically indicated induction. And so those are two very different things.
Yes. So even if your providers like, hey, you’re 39 weeks, you want to just see if we can have a baby tomorrow. That’s an elective induction, even if it’s not, you’re starting the conversation. Your provider can still offer an elective induction and it’s still not medically necessary. And you’re not going into labor on your own.
Hilary Erickson 4:43
Yes. So and we see them very differently in the hospital. So just so you guys know, but you know, there’s no like, if you make the choice for an electric induction, we treat everybody still the same, you know, it’s just going to be a little bit longer of a road. I agree.
Mandy Irby 4:59
Yeah, and And I want it to be the way you want it. But with all the decisions and the unexpected things that come up, sometimes you just get thrown curveballs and you just have to, you have to weigh that decision with how much am I ready to be done and I’m okay with curveballs versus how much do I want to actually let my body be a little bit more in control about what’s going on?
Hilary Erickson 5:22
Yeah. Although I went 12 days over and my body probably never would have had a baby so it’s like, who knows?
Mandy Irby 5:29
Who knows? Yeah, there’s no judgment. Like I don’t care you choose you but sometimes it feels like oh, yeah, this sounds so easy. Just go have a baby tomorrow and it really doesn’t usually work like that.
Hilary Erickson 5:40
Yeah, I agree with you when you said it does sound like you have more control but in reality you have less control because your body is making your we’re making the choices for your body by putting medication and yeah,
Mandy Irby 5:51
right like what’s best What do we do now and, and the end of pregnancy I feel like in labor, you’re vulnerable. You have hormones going on which I love hormones, but Come on, like, we’re not at our peak performance. We don’t know if we’re making the right decision. We have this guilt we have this, like nagging What if Am I doing the right thing? I think, you know, making decisions for an induction is one thing, but making them at that time. You never feel like you’re doing the right thing. You can second guess yourself for a million years. I think women are good at that. I think moms are great at that, as in bad at that. And it’s just kind of on overdrive at the end of pregnancy. So it doesn’t always feel confident.
Hilary Erickson 6:31
Yeah, I mean, I even tell women not to make a choice about their hair, like a drastic hair choice at the end. Yeah, because who knows?
Mandy Irby 6:39
Who knows? Yeah, yeah. Kind of like floating on this. You’re such a weird space.
All right. Let’s get down to the nitty gritty what everybody wants to hear. Do you have you seen any success stories and putting yourself into labor on your own? So nothing that we’re doing something mom’s doing at home? Maybe with dad?
Right? Okay, so sex. Yeah, you Google How to go into labor. The first thing is have a bunch of sex. You’re tired, you’re big, you’re it’s summer right now I just summer, Baby, you’re sweaty. So, myth buster, you can’t put yourself into labor.
Hilary Erickson 7:17
It’s sad, right?
Mandy Irby 7:19
It is sad because you and I have both been there. You’ve been 12 days overdue I was just due. just done as you get to be kind of like, oh, if labor started on its own, I wouldn’t be mad. But I just I really want to emphasize that the pressure is really not all on you. Like you don’t have the switch in your pregnant body where you can just figure out that recipe and boom, you’re in labor, like the baby has a job to do too. And while I always blame it on the partner or the test tube, however, however you made your baby, we totally blame it on them.
But really the baby who’s Your baby. So it’s perfect that your baby’s perfect. Your baby’s also kind of wiggling down getting in your pelvis sitting on your cervix, you’re talking to your brain giving you the hormones, that recipe is going on too. So it’s not all the pressure. I mean, everyone’s calling and asking and texting. Have you gone into labor yet? Are you still pregnant? And they’re not asking the baby. But truly the baby has a big role to play and when your labor starts, so take the pressure off, man.
Hilary Erickson 8:28
Yeah, I agree. Like my husband was like, so could we just get this started? And I was like, yeah, let me get right on that because I am loving being pregnant right now.
Mandy Irby 8:38
middle of August, and I’m the biggest I’ve ever been in my whole life and my ankles are like don’t even look like ankles. Why didn’t I think of this before? Let’s just have a baby.
No, they just want to have sex and that’s fine.
Hilary Erickson 8:53
Right? You got six weeks public rest after anyway, so
Mandy Irby 9:00
Well, sex and stripping membranes are all on the list of things that are supposed to help. But really, and I’ve talked with providers, and I work with ob gyn and they say, you know, it’s not going to put you in the labor if you’re not already near labor. If you’re about to be in early labor, I always say, labor starts in hindsight. Because you never knew you were an early labor. It feels like a bunch of contractions. Just like last week, you had a bunch of contractions and they stopped, but it doesn’t stop. And you’re not quite sure what did it but it is a lot of things that went into play to go into labor. And if you think that stripping membranes are you think that that, you know, the sex the night before was what puts you in the labor most likely, there are a lot of things already going on in the background and that just kind of tipped you over the edge.
I would say they give you like a little shove. Yeah, like if you are already upright and stuff, a little shoves, not gonna throw you over, but if you’re already leaning forward, you push your bum Then, boom, you’re on your face and have a baby.
Oh my god. Yes, but that’s a really great way to think about it is if you’re already leaning forward, you’re going to get there, but it’ll take maybe a little longer and who knows it would take who knows how much it shortens when you’re going to go into labor, but at that point, sometimes you be okay with 15 minutes. Yeah.
Hilary Erickson 10:23
Well, let’s bust some more myths. What do you think about castor oil?
Mandy Irby 10:27
I don’t know much about it.
Oh, man, that you will you there will be a lot of poop.
I always say I don’t know much about right. I always say don’t know much about it. Except poop.
Yeah, that’s our end. Because you will have poop throughout your labor throughout the whole time. You’ll just feel miserable and you’ll be embarrassed because it’s me helping you take care of it instead of just you running to the restroom.
Yeah, yeah. You rely on people at that point when you’re in labor, but you don’t want to be. Some people want to be laboring on the toilet but you don’t want to be a victim. have to be Yeah. And castor oil can work. It can work quickly. But yeah, you’ll definitely be on the toilet. Yeah.
Hilary Erickson 11:06
And I just don’t recommend taking it because it could cause like dehydration and other things you really don’t want after you have your baby.
Mandy Irby 11:12
Yeah, I never recommend it because it’s unpredictable.
Yeah, for sure.
Unknown Speaker 11:18
So what worked for me personally, oh I’ll credit. The thing that tipped me over was curb walking. Oh, I know. It’s like this underground thing that I dug and dug and dug and ate the pineapple and had the sex and did all the things and then I was like, I’m never gonna have a baby. And I was talking on the phone one night and was curb walking after a long shift. I worked at the hospital all day. And maybe it was the day before I was still just tired and over it. And I was talking on the phone and it was summer it was evening and it’s felt really nice out and I was walking for way longer than I probably should have. You really don’t need to walk for very long. But I was like, I don’t. I don’t know what this is, but I’ll try it and it didn’t hurt. So I kept doing it. But I had one foot on the curb one foot on the street. And I just walked down a block and would turn around and switch feet, walk back down the block, and kept doing it on a phone call kind of ignored what I was feeling. I wasn’t feeling a whole lot, went to bed, slept woke up at 3am. And that’s when labor happened. Wow. Currently, I still I still labored the entire day, and didn’t have my baby till 11pm. But in hindsight, it was the 3am wake up that I could never go back to sleep from that never stopped contracting. That was labor.
Mandy Irby 12:35
Yeah. So what do you think curb walking does? I guess just the way you’re using your pelvis as you.
Yeah, I think it shifts your pelvis and allows I think a lot of space for the baby. Get on the cervix, get into the pelvis, trigger those hormones to be moving trigger that oxytocin and get really situated in a way that I don’t move regularly like that. Shifting and, you know, like I sit down, I stand up, I lay on My side but that curb walking is like a gimpy gate. Yes. It’s very dramatic.
Hilary Erickson 13:06
Yeah pictured in your mind because the way your pelvis is moving, you don’t move in regular life.
Mandy Irby 13:11
Mm hmm. That’s just as what that baby needed. I always also say stay hydrated. Because you’re good to be contracting. When you’re when your uterus is so big, you’re going to be like practice contractions. And if you’re spending your whole day curb walking and outside walking, because everyone’s like, walk that baby out. You’re going to be dehydrated. You’re going to think it’s labor. And it’s just like these dehydration contractions.
Yeah, smart smart. Definitely. That’s what I always say when people think they’re starting to contract I’m like, three giant glasses of water stay close to your toilet. They’re like oh, I don’t want to pee. I’m like well, you pee or you contract? Take your choice.
Unknown Speaker 13:45
Right peeing is a good sign. Yeah, but it is like a part time job. But yeah, you don’t want those waste of time. contractions like Who has time for oh my gosh, this is it. Like that just plays with your emotions. Yeah, that’s just crap. Yeah, knock out the ones that aren’t getting Gonna Change your cervix so that your uterus is like it’s like, you know, get ready for a marathon or like a sporting event you wouldn’t like get dehydrated and be like, Oh, I’m contracting. This is awesome. Yeah. Smart, like, Oh, I’m not contracting. Maybe when I do, they’ll be effective.
Hilary Erickson 14:14
Yep. Um, you know, while you were saying that I have a lot of friends that are like, Oh, go jump on the trampoline. That’s totally different than curb walking just so everybody No, no, no, no. Also, that mostly just hurts your ligaments of your uterus, like how your belly hangs So some people think pain is the same as labor and it’s not that’s just pain. That’s not going to get a baby out.
Mandy Irby 14:38
That’s not good for anybody and the risk of falling and bouncing on your butt like no, no, that’s more of like a forced entry force, maybe entry to your pelvis. I think it’s, I think of labor is more like a like you hear about waves or, I don’t know, smooth movements and curb walking does not look smooth. But if you Practice, like, close your eyes and act like you’re sexy walking down a runway. It’s way smoother than bouncing on the trampoline out.
Hilary Erickson 15:07
Yeah, ouch. I always recommend people just hang out on their labor ball watch some of their favorite shows rotate their hips on the labor ball bounce a little bit. That’s a little bit more relaxing than curb walking. I think if you curb walked in Arizona, you probably die right now. So that would Yeah.
Unknown Speaker 15:23
You’d need like a personal fan with a spray bottle. I need like a team. Yeah. To keep me hold the umbrella.
Hilary Erickson 15:31
You have a team get out there.
Mandy Irby 15:32
What’s that giant pregnant person doing with eight people surrounding her? Yeah, if you have a team get out there. If not, like sexy hip circles on the ball. Yeah, like, Am I doing it right? But like, really graduated, stick your butt out. Stick your but in. Big figure of eight. That’s going to shift your pelvis. You’re not going to feel anything right away. But add it all up and your baby’s getting down there.
Hilary Erickson 15:57
Yeah. So those are our best tips. You guys Okay, so last thing I want to talk about is people say they’re just so uncomfortable, which I 100% get, but you also sort of signed up for that when you got pregnant. So that’s just part of the end of pregnancy. But do you have any tips for what people can do to kind of feel better in those last few weeks before they per block?
Mandy Irby 16:18
Yeah, that’s kind of the biggest tip of going into labor is like, totally ignore labor. And you can’t do that when you’re super uncomfortable and you’re counting down the minutes of getting your body back and feeling normal. I suggest getting into water. Get into water. take the weight off of everything. Help your hopefully swollen places be less swollen. And I don’t have a soaker tub like my tub is. I mean, it’s like a beached whale flopping around in the sand. It’s like nothing will cover my belly or I’m like, dipping my back into the water for my belly to be is not comfortable. So I went to a friend’s house, and she turned down her hot tub to like 98 degrees. And I got in her hot tub and a hot tub and the normal temperature is too hot for pregnant person, but if it’s turned down, it feels like a lukewarm bath. And it was like, night and day the difference of oh my gosh, I can do this. Oh my gosh, I don’t feel pregnant all the pains and this was second pregnancy all the like, stretching and weight just lifted and it just felt so much better. So I think like, just basking in the moments that are good, like those really fun times when your baby’s kicking and you record it and you can see your belly in the aliens trying to come out of your belly button or the times when you’re floating in the pool and it feels so good and you forget you’re pregnant for like half an hour, I think can help you stay in that. Stay Okay, being pregnant for another few days or another week helps you kind of ignore wanting to go into labor so badly that you almost like wish it away. Yeah. Like that make sense? Yeah.
Hilary Erickson 18:01
Mandy Irby 18:03
Hilary Erickson 18:04
water can really make you feel better.
Unknown Speaker 18:07
Oh, yeah. Oh yeah. And how quickly a pregnant person can be dehydrated. And it’s sneaky because you’re peeing all the dang time. It’s so sneaky. You’re like, No, I’m peeing. I’m totally hydrated, but it takes so much to stay hydrated and so little to get dehydrated because you’re really, I mean, you have a lot of skin surface area while you’re pregnant. You have a lot of blood near the surface, like you can get dehydrated very quickly. So stay hydrated, helps you stay comfortable helps you in a good mindset. And my well water being in water is my favorite. But I think practicing some of your calming relaxation techniques before bed can help you sleep. And I know this is like whoo whoo. And this is like Mandy Just tell me how to get my baby out. But I know sleeping is so hard at the end and that is a big part of why People are so ready to be not pregnant anymore. They just want to sleep for like four hours.
Hilary Erickson 19:05
Which is so going to happen when you have a baby
Mandy Irby 19:08
It feels like it might though like your pregnancy brain is just like get the baby out and you’ll sleep and you know you won’t and maybe that first night your newborn sleeps for three hours on a whim, but not again for a long, long time. But I mean, there’s no explaining it away like you just need some sleep you just feel like you’re going to feel better if you can just get some sleep and we’re telling you to drink water and then you’re peeing and then you’re like, growling my name and you’re under your breath on the way to the bathroom the 10th time. But I think practicing or coming up with and like devising some calming techniques. You get good at them. So what if you start at 36 weeks and you do it every day? You’re going to have 234 or five weeks of practice. You know, either I don’t know whatever it is listening to rain on your phone or using your own pillow laying almost naked under a fan, whatever you’re like, right? I don’t know. Like, hypothetically that’s what pregnant people do. I have no idea.
I did that even on my first we didn’t have air conditioning and I would soak my underwear in the sink and then I would put it on and put a fan on.
TMI that’s happening right now. You could just imagine Hilary just like beached out on our beds with our fan on high totally naked her husband comes in. Close the door like I’m not sure what’s happening there. It’s just like secret pregnancy ritual. Yes, just like, are so hot. We just wouldn’t go to sleep. But whatever works. So like, make a routine, force it. Use your pillow. Use lavender, get in the bath every night. lay naked under the fan. Turn on your rain sounds. Listen to some mantras, read your affirmation book, like make it a routine, then you’re going to get better at it and now you already have a tool to use and labor or whenever you need it, because it’s going to be so practiced and ingrained, you will be good at it. And because you forced it like, there’s nothing else that I say like, force it unless, my daughter’s like, I don’t have to go to the bathroom, try this, you can actually force into a routine and kind of trick your body to be like, oh, when I use my pillow, and I smell the lavender and I take a bath, I’m going to be able to go to sleep. And it might not last all night. But then you can use these tricks like in the car on the way to the hospital to kind of calm down or once you get there and you feel really out of place. You can turn on the lights off and try your routine. And yeah, you might not pass out because you’re in labor, but you’ll feel better. It’ll help. So I like that.
Hilary Erickson 21:42
Yeah, because when your baby’s crying and you just don’t know how to stop it in your little mind. You need a lot of relaxation techniques and motherhood.
Unknown Speaker 21:50
That is such a good idea too because everyone’s like sleep with the baby sleeps, and your brain is going going and you have so many things to do. But you know, you need to just go into your room and do your tricks. It helps to kind of recenter her for the 15 minutes. So your babies?
Hilary Erickson 22:04
Yeah, I love that. And don’t feel like the pressures on you, it isn’t on you. You know, you’re you’re literally just growing the Baby, you’re the greenhouse. It’s not the greenhouses job to pick the tomatoes and and make it a Ragu. It’s just to grow the baby.
Unknown Speaker 22:21
Yeah, no pressure. And, and I like the like, well, since I’ve had two weeks of pregnancy left, like tell people to stop asking you if you’re still pregnant, or don’t answer your phone. Don’t like don’t get them in your head instead, just and I know it’s hard to just just enjoy it. Like I wouldn’t say that. But try writing a letter to your baby about where your head’s at. And that’s going to be cool because your head’s not going to be in that space. When you’re postpartum. You’re going to be a different a different being then and you get to read that letter and you get to give that letter to your baby. Be like I was so sick of you being on the inside and then you know, you do all the regular mom stuff, like i miss it! Yeah. It’s kind of funny to kind of get a glimpse into how you’re what you’re thinking and the days before so you can use that time to well, swim. Write a letter. kind of stay close with your baby. But also, yeah, it’s not it’s not up to you to go into labor. Yeah.
Hilary Erickson 23:15
And if you’re miserable making dinner, then your partner gets to make dinner. You are the greenhouse right now, not the
Mandy Irby 23:21
That’s right. Yeah, you’re going to be crawling around on the floor, trying to rock your pelvis around, crawl around sexy hip circles on the ball, laying around naked, let people help you. That’s a great practice for postpartum because I really think it’s important to be able to ask for help when you’re postpartum.
Hilary Erickson 23:38
And if you’re a partner wondering how this woman’s gonna get through these last few weeks, she’s going to get through it with you. So you need to be in charge of making her very, very happy.
Mandy Irby 23:47
Feed the belly.
Hilary Erickson 23:51
Alright, well, this has been awesome. Hopefully you guys got some great tips. Thanks so much for coming on Mandy. I really appreciate it.
Mandy Irby 23:57
Oh my gosh, thanks for having me. This was amazing. Yeah.
Hilary Erickson 24:00
Okay guys, thanks so much for joining me on today’s episode. I hope you guys found some ideas to get you through those final stages of labor. In fact, if you’re not quite there, because we know labor shouldn’t happen until you’re at least 37 ish weeks, be sure and pin this maybe on your Pinterest boards because then you can reference it when the time comes. If you’d like to know more about ways to go into labor, be sure and check out the show notes at pullingcurls dot. com backslash podcasts. You can also find it on my homepage under any menu it’ll say podcast
Big thanks to our sponsor, the online prenatal class for couples for making this episode possible. You can find out more about it on the show notes Special thanks to my friend Mandy Irby, the birth nurse for being part of today’s discussion. If you guys want to find out more about her class on taking control of your labor, which I bet is amazing. You can find the links to it in the show notes as well. If you liked today’s episode, be sure to share, subscribe and review. It really makes a difference and we really appreciate it. Hope to have you with us next time we drop an episode every Monday and until then, I hope you have a tangle-free day!
Transcribed by https://otter.ai